Adults use a variety of strategies to reason about fraction magnitudes, and this variability is adaptive. In two studies, we examined the relationships between mathematics anxiety, working memory, strategy variability and performance on two fraction tasks: fraction magnitude comparison and estimation. Adults with higher mathematics anxiety had lower accuracy on the comparison task and greater percentage absolute error (PAE) on the estimation task. Unexpectedly, mathematics anxiety was not related to variable strategy use. However, variable strategy use was linked to more accurate magnitude comparisons, especially among adults with lower working memory performance or those who use mathematics less frequently, as well as lower PAE on the estimation task. These findings shed light on the role of strategy variability in fraction problem solving and demonstrate a link between mathematics anxiety and fraction magnitude reasoning, a key predictor of general mathematics achievement.
|Number of pages||38|
|Journal||Thinking and Reasoning|
|State||Published - Jan 2 2019|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Support for this research was provided in part by U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences grant R305A160295 to Dr Clarissa A. Thompson. We would like to thank Alanna Feltner for her comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- fraction reasoning
- mathematics anxiety
- numerical cognition
- strategy variability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Psychology (miscellaneous)